How to Crate Train a Yorkshire Terrier

How to Crate Train a Yorkshire Terrier
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Time icon1-3 Months
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Introduction

A Yorkshire Terrier puppy is a big ball of strength, courage, and independence in one tiny package. When your Yorkie is full grown, he could be anywhere between 3 to 6 pounds. He will not be very big, but his confidence and his bold behaviors will far exceed his size. If you are not careful with your Yorkshire Terrier at night while you sleep, he could tear up books, papers, mail, important documents, or anything else he might find, such as your couch or your carpet, and spread it from one end of the house to another. But if you train your Yorkshire Terrier to sleep in a crate during the night, he will not only have a place where he is confined, safe, and secure, but also quite comfortable for an entire night's sleep. Crate training your Yorkie for daytime activities will also help keep him entertained and safe while you are out of the house. Imagine the personal belongings you can protect when your Yorkie is well behaved and safe inside his own personal space!

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Defining Tasks

Crate training your Yorkshire Terrier will take some dedication and lots of repetition. You should train your Yorkie to stay in his crate for night time sleep as well as any time you cannot keep an eye on him during the day. These times might include when you're out running errands, when you leave the house, or when you're at work during the day. If you're training a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, you will need to consider his house training while you're crate training. He will need to go potty every few hours until he's old enough to hold it all day. Your crate training should be repetitive and extremely rewarding. Be sure you are supplying your Yorkie with a small crate and comfortable bedding and toys to keep him comfortable, secure and entertained.

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Getting Started

Crate training requires enough time with you in the house to train your Yorkshire Terrier to stay in the crate while he can see you, so he feels safe and secure. Your Yorkie is also going to work pretty hard for lots of tasty treats. Yorkshire Terriers are incredibly intelligent, so you can bet he will understand your requests for crate training, but because he's also incredibly courageous and bold, he may also challenge you and push back. Be sure you are equipped with an appropriate size crate. Your Yorkie will never be very big, so a small or tiny crate will suffice. Prepare your crate with soft bedding and fun toys for day training as well as night training.

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The Safe Times Method

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Schedule times

If you are able to be home during the day with your Yorkshire Terrier, schedule times to place him in the crate. These can be times you need to get chores done and can't keep an eye on your little pup, or they may be times your Yorkie is napping.

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After playtime

Put your Yorkshire Terrier in his crate after he has extended play time. Your Yorkie should be playing in 10 to 15-minute intervals throughout the day. While he's a little puppy, he will nap a lot. Be sure to take him potty and place him in his crate when it's time to nap.

3

Housework

Anytime you are busy with a task that takes away the ability to keep an eye on your Yorkshire Terrier puppy, put him in his crate. Even if he's not sleepy, you can give him a treat or a chew toy to keep him entertained and occupied.

4

Errands

Anytime you need to leave the house to run quick errands, put your Yorkshire Terrier in the crate. Just remember while he is very young he cannot be left alone in a crate for a long period of time because he will have to go potty every few hours.

5

Nighttime

When it's time for sleep at night, place your pup inside his crate and go to bed. Each time you place him in his crate before bedtime, give him a treat and be sure he goes potty before you bid him good night.

6

Getting used to it

The more you use your Yorkshire Terrier puppy's crate throughout the day and at night, the quicker he will get used to the idea of going into his crate on his own and the faster he will understand his crate is his safe place for him to be when you are away from the house or when he needs to sleep.

7

Treats

Do not hesitate to give your Yorkshire Terrier a treat every time you put him in the crate and each time you open the crate to take him out. This rewards him for good behavior while in the crate and helps him to condition him for using the crate day in and day out and throughout the day and night.

The Open Door Method

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Introduce the crate

Place the crate in a busy area within your home. This area can be in your bedroom or in your family room. You'll want it to be a place where you and your Yorkshire Terrier will visit often.

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Set up the crate

Set up your Yorkie's crate with comfortable, soft bedding and a couple of chew toys that are safe and quiet for him to chew on while he's waiting patiently to fall asleep or waiting for you to open the crate door.

3

Leave the door open

With the crate door open, introduce the crate to your Yorkshire Terrier puppy. Place a treat inside the crate and encourage your Yorkie to go in the crate.

4

Sit outside the crate

Situate yourself just outside the crate, leaving the door open. You can offer your Yorkshire Terrier another treat if you would like to encourage him to stay in the crate or you can sit there and talk quietly with him.

5

Leave him alone

At some point, once your pup has settled down a bit, get up and leave the crate. Leave the door open, leaving the choice to stay in the crate with your dog.

6

Practice

Anytime you would like to see your Yorkie go into the crate on his own, take him to the crate and place a treat inside. Let him get used to the crate with the door open for several days if possible. Once he's used to going in the crate on his own and you need to leave the house or it's time to go to bed at night, you can begin to close the door.

7

Redirection

Your Yorkshire Terrier puppy will probably whine the first few times you close the door. If he is tired, he will settle down. If he is not sleepy it might not yet be time to close the door. If you need to leave the house, however, keep him in the crate and know he will settle down. Make sure he has a safe chew toy for entertainment and try not to leave him too long.

The Daytime Method

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Crate placement

Place your Yorkshire Terrier's crate in a busy place within your house such as near your kitchen or in your family room. You want your Yorkie to hear the sounds of the house while he's napping.

2

Playtime

Your Yorkie will nap a lot in his first several months of life. But he also needs to play. And playtime will wear him out, making him want to nap. Play with him for a bit before taking him potty and then lay him down to sleep.

3

Potty

Be sure to take your pup to his potty spot to go potty after playtime before his naps. You do not have to schedule naps for your Yorkie, just know he's going to be tired and sleeping a lot throughout the day.

4

Inside the crate

Place your Yorkshire Terrier inside his crate for his nap times during the day. If you catch your little Yorkie napping somewhere besides his crate, just pick him up and place him in his crate. Most days he'll be too tired to move, especially during these early months of life.

5

Door

Anytime your Yorkshire Terrier is sleeping in his crate, close the door. Before opening the door to let him out, let him awaken and let you know he's awake by whining or barking.

6

Once awake

As soon as your Yorkie is awake from his nap in his crate, take him outside to go potty.

7

Continue practice

Place your Yorkshire Terrier in his crate anytime you need to leave the house or anytime he is sleeping. When you are ready to move to nighttime training, begin to place him in his crate for night sleep as well. Remember not to leave your Yorkie in his crate for more than a few hours at a time while he's potty training to avoid any crate accidents.

By Stephanie Plummer

Published: 02/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Coco

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Yorkshire Terrier

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3 Months

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Oh my gosh won’t nap unless she’s on my lap Accidents every night in crate both pee and poop

Feb. 23, 2022

Coco's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello Doland, First, how is the crate set up and where did you get pup from? Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. If you are currently letting pup outside into a fence without going with pup, pup is likely not really going potty before bed but getting distracted. Check out the Crate Training article linked below for tips on how to get pup to go potty while outside - which makes accidents in the crate less likely. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside I would remove all food and water at least two hours before bedtime as well and take pup outside last thing before crating, opposed to 30-60 minutes before crating, so pup's bladder will "shut down" allowing pup to hold it longer while asleep sooner by having pottying and sleeping close together. Finally, with a correctly sized crate and healthy puppy, most puppies will bark when they need to go potty during the night. At this age it's normal for pup to need 1-2 potty trips during the night. You will need to take pup out when they ask to go until older. If pup isn't asking to go out despite a correctly sized crate and nothing absorbent in the crate, then you will need to set an alarm clock to take pup out every 4 hours at night. For every month pup gets older you can add an hour to that time until pup can hold it all night. As a general rule a puppy can hold it for the number of months they are age plus one once they wake up. If they stay asleep they can often hold it a bit longer than that. If pup's crate isn't where you can hear them, you will need to use an audio baby monitor or move the crate to listen out, or set an alarm. Most dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean, but if pup has a whole lot of accidents in the crate over an extended amount of time some dogs will loose that inclination. This can happen because of unrealistic potty expectations, the wrong set up, or how pup was raised - like a pet store or shelter small kennel environment, where pups go potty where they live, instead of a separate area. When pup has lost that desire and is having accidents in the crate despite changing schedules, cleaning thoroughly, and setting up the crate the way they need, then a different set up may be needed completely. In these cases, I recommend the Tethering method from the article linked below for the daytime whenever you are home. Also, set up an exercise pen in a room that you can close off access to later on (pup will learn it's okay to potty in this room so choose accordingly). A guest bathroom, laundry room, or enclosed balcony - once weather is a safe temperature are a few options. Don't set the exercise up in a main area of the house like the den or kitchen. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, and instead of a litter box like the article mentions, use a real grass pad to stay consistent with teaching pup to potty on grass outside - which is far less confusing than pee pads (Don't use pee pads if the end goal is pottying outside!). Since your goal is pottying outside only use the Exercise Pen at night and when you are not home. When pup will hold her bladder while in the rest of the house consistently and can hold it for as long as you are gone for during the day and overnight, then remove the exercise pen and grass pad completely, close off access to the room that the pen was in so she won't go into there looking to pee, and take her potty outside only. Since she may still chew longer even after potty training, when you leave her alone, be sure to leave her in a safe area that's been puppy proofed, like a cordoned off area of the kitchen with chew toys - until she is out of the destructive chewing phases too - which typically happens between 1-2 years for most dogs with the right training. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - Also found on Amazon www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com You can also make your own out of a piece of grass sod cut up and a large, shallow plastic storage container. For the napping, check out the Surprise method from the article I have linked below to teach pup how to cope with alone time. Depending on your success with the crate or needing to switch to an exercise pen, you can use either the pen or crate to practice this training. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Feb. 23, 2022

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mateo

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Yorkshire Terrier

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4 Months

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he has bad behavior and tears the pad

Oct. 3, 2021

mateo's Owner

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Alisha Smith - Alisha S., Dog Trainer

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Hello! Here is detailed information on potty training, as well as crate training if you decide to use a crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

Oct. 3, 2021


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